Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in photography but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lily Laidlaw, Founder & Lead Photographer of Lily Laidlaw Photography, located in Edmonton, AB, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My team and I offer fine art photography for your important milestones from helping you plan and capture the perfect wedding proposal to looking for radiant and romantic wedding photography to capturing your growing family with maternity and newborn portraits. Throughout each stage of your journey, we will curate an experience that tells your unique love story. Lily Laidlaw Photography is located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and is available for local bookings to the majestic Alberta Rocky Mountains and far-off destinations worldwide. We've developed a luxury client experience that documents your most captivating moments. We use a blend of guided posing and photojournalism, which allows you to savour and cherish your experience during the photography session. Long after the memorable moments have passed, you will have heirloom images to cherish for years to come.
Our fine-art style of photography is inspired by the old-world beauty of my favourite European destinations coupled with modern aesthetics. We offer deeply romantic images that radiate light, rich textures, and authentic emotion. From elegantly styled or editorial images to spontaneous shots, we work with you to record it all. While moving throughout the day, we are able to transition photography approaches to best fit the moment. From the still moments of intimacy, the fleeting (often fast!) first kiss, the passing glances, the large embrace with the family, and more—all of which make for unique and lasting visual memories for you to experience again in the future. Whether you are planning an event in Edmonton, the Alberta Rockies, or a destination three plane rides away, our goal is to draw out genuine emotion and create space to allow for organic connection, making every step of the journey intentional and joyful.
Tell us about yourself
I'm Lily Laidlaw- a destination & local fine-art photographer based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. My team and I create luminous images of our clients in breathtaking locations worldwide. I am a true romantic and have been enthralled with love, weddings, and profound human connection for as long as I can remember. I reside in Edmonton, the capital of Alberta, Canada, but I have significant wanderlust and feel honoured that my career as a professional photographer enables me to work on-location shooting destination weddings, elopements, and other important milestones. I've always enjoyed connecting with people and watching them evolve. I believe that this is why my transition to fine art photography happened so naturally. My dedication and discipline to the arts - whether this was when I was studying music & education in university or dance, fine art, fashion & design in my earlier years, has provided me with essential foundational skills. Pursuing excellence in artistic transformations eventually led me to pursue a career in photography that allows me to document the beauty of human connection through my lens. My background as an educator and an artist has also enhanced my ability to connect and communicate with my clients, guiding them into natural poses, making them feel at ease, and leaving space to observe and capture meaningful spontaneous moments.
Emotion, meaning, and compassion go into everything I do. All of these things continue to shape my approach to photography as I see it as a true living-breathing art form. From sipping a gorgeous Brunello on a palazzo in Italy to adopting as many rescue animals as I can, honing language & cultural skills through a study-abroad term in Germany, refining my skills as a classical & jazz pianist and vocalist along with adventuring and viewing the most incredible destinations around North America, Europe, and South-East Asia & beyond-- I put a high value on soaking up natural elegance, honing in on the finest details of my craft, and ultimately, living life to the fullest. I make it a priority to create every day and use travel and adventure- as well as my daughters- to fuel my inspiration which ultimately translates to how I direct and compose my photographs. It is through a deep desire to both direct and candidly document profound and polished, yet also playful and endearing moments that has resulted in the founding of Lily Laidlaw Photography. As both a local Alberta photographer as well as an international destination photographer, my team and I look forward to helping you create a uniquely beautiful vision that captures your most cherished memories and preserves your legacy.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I don't think there is one definitive thing I could say is my biggest accomplishment. My business is built around documenting the most important moments of people's lives engagements, weddings, pregnancy, newborn babies, the many milestones in the lives of little children, graduations, annual family portraits- the list can go on and on. I feel deeply honoured to have a career that captures profound human connection and emotion.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Setting healthy boundaries around work and juggling being a mom to young children. Having a great support network is key. I am so fortunate to have built a village that allows me to have my dream job and be a present mother to Scarlett and Kaiya. I am so thankful to my husband, Travis- he is such a pillar for me!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Invest in ongoing education, mentorships, and outsourcing. Do market research on a regular basis. Join a mastermind. Invest in self-development that goes beyond your industry and makes you a better human, wife, mother, father, friend, partner, etc... and work on your mindset!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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